“This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand ”– Mark 1:15
REFLECTION – “After John had been arrested, Jesus came into Galilee ” According to our interpretation, John stands for the Law and Jesus the Gospel. Indeed, John says: “One mightier than I is coming after me …” (Mk 1:7) and elsewhere: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3:30): in this way he compares the Law with the Gospel. And afterwards he says: “I – that is, the Law – baptise you with water; he – that is the Gospel – will baptise you in the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1:8). And so, Jesus comes because John had been put in prison. In effect, the Law is finished, it has been brought to an end, it no longer has its former freedom. But we have passed from the Law to the Gospel …
“Jesus came to Galilee preaching the Gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God” … When I read the Law, prophets and psalms, I never heard them speak of the Kingdom of heaven, only in the gospel. For only when He came, of whom it is said “the Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Lk 17:21) that God’s Kingdom was thrown open … In fact, before the Saviour’s coming and the light of the Gospel, before Christ opened the gates of paradise with the thief (Lk 23:43), all holy souls descended to the place of the dead. Jacob himself said: “I will go down weeping and mourning to the nether world” (Gn 37:35) … In the Law, Abraham rests with the dead; in the Gospel, the thief is in paradise. We are not denigrating Abraham; we all want to rest in his bosom (Lk 16:23) but we prefer Christ to Abraham, the Gospel to the Law.
We read that after Christ’s Resurrection many saints appeared in the holy city (Mt 27:53). Our Lord and Saviour preached on earth and preached, too, to the underworld. He died and descended to hell to free the souls held captive there (1 Pt 3:18f.).” – St Jerome (347-420) Priest, Translator of Sacred Scripture, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on Saint Mark’s Gospel, no.2A ; SC 494
PRAYER – Lord, be the beginning ad the end of all that we are and do and say. Prompty our actions with Your grace and complete them with Your all-powerful help. Let our hearts belong to You alone and make us Your obedient servants. By the intercession of the Blessed Mary our Hope and all the Saints and Angels, we make our prayer through Christ our Lord, amen.